Fauborg Marigny

Bernard Xavier Philippe de Marigny de MandevilleThe Faubourg Marigny was founded by one of New Orleans' most colorful figures, Bernard Xavier Philippe de Marigny de Mandeville, who in 1806 divided his plantation into lots. The fact that he later died bankrupt may not have said much for his business sense, but he clearly knew a great location. During the early half of the 19th century, this neighborhood was home to the mixed race concubines and families of wealthy white Creoles who lived in the French Quarter, many of whose descendants remain in the city today. After the Civil War, the Faubourg was called "Little Saxony" because of the great number of Germans who settled there.

The Faubourg Marigny is the next neighborhood downriver from the French Quarter, just on the other side of Esplanade Avenue. Long a quiet residential neighbor to the celebrated Vieux Carre, the area has exploded in recent years into a vibrant destination for food, music and good times, with much of this activity concentrated on Frenchmen Street. the heart of a dense, historic neighborhood filled with distinctive architecture and home to restaurants serving exotic food and Creole favorites.

Visitors to Frenchmen Street won't see Mardi Gras beads, frozen daiquiri stands or T-shirt shops; rather, the area very much caters to locals. In fact, New Orleanians who haven't set foot on Bourbon Street in years spend whole weekends romping around Frenchmen Street, bar-hopping for live music or eating out along its increasingly diverse restaurant row.

Frenchamn StreetAlong Frenchmen Street proper, the diversity and proximity of businesses in a three-block stretch creates a highly energized and vividly colorful street scene. Walking down just one block on a typical evening, for instance, you might encounter a reggae band jamming; watch body art in progress; dodge bicyclists peddling off on rented rides; spot a visiting movie star or two or browse a selection of used books for sale from a street vendor.

The streets of this part of town, following a sharp curve in the nearby Mississippi River, branch out from the French Quarter's orderly grid into triangular patterns that create something like a labyrinth. Around each corner of this intriguing neighborhood lies something else to discover, whether it's a Creole mansion, an aromatic coffeehouse or a jazz band playing for a packed dance floor at a small club.


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